New festival toolkit launched to help Ukrainians

Featured image credit: YOUROPE

Festivals across Europe can now offer greater assistance to those impacted by the war in Ukraine thanks to the launch of a new toolkit.

‘Festivals For Ukraine’ provides information about various measures and activities festival organisers can employ to use their festivals as a platform for raising funds and awareness for important causes. The toolkit has been developed by the European Festival Association (YOUROPE) together with Music Saves Ukraine, the humanitarian initiative created by Ukrainian Association of Music Events (UAME).

The Festivals For Ukraine toolkit contains step-by-step guides, case studies and advice on how to implement various schemes and activities within events and festivals It is public and free to use for any festival or cultural event and can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF. The toolkit can be accessed here.

The toolkit was developed as part of YOUROPE’s three-year project “Future-Fit Festivals” (3F). The tools featured have been tested and successfully implemented since the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, and have already raised significant funds for Music Saves Ukraine’s humanitarian work in the country.

Holger Jan Schmidt, YOUROPE’s general secretary, said: “YOUROPE is committed to helping our Ukrainian members, partners and friends for well over two years now. So that they can be heard, do humanitarian work and reach the right people on their mission. It feels good to see, despite the serious situation, how successfully our network has provided and continues to provide this urgently needed help.”

Pohoda Festival
A special performance offering support for Ukraine at Pohoda Festival

Music Saves Ukraine initiative

The toolkit provides background on YOUROPE, its social awareness initiative Take A Stand as well as on UAME’s Music Saves Ukraine initiative and their mission. The main part features sections on fundraising and awareness-raising tools like artist bookings, discussion panels and speeches and special performances.

YOUROPE said that while the toolkit is based on case studies related to Music Saves Ukraine, the tools described possess a high degree of transferability and can easily be used to advance and raise for any other charitable cause: refugee aid, environmental action, inclusion and diversity, etc.

Oleksandr Sanchenko, president of UAME, said: “We would like to express our immense gratitude to YOUROPE and its members for the opportunity to work on this toolkit with them and for their unwavering support of everything we have done since our very first days. Together, they helped us raise hundreds of thousands of Euros, which translated into dozens of thousands of people helped.

“They cordially invited us to their festivals, where we could collect donations and bring Ukrainian artists, culture and our experiences to their visitors. All this support enabled us to continue to do our humanitarian work non-stop while working on ever more ambitious projects to help people in Ukraine and to promote the Ukrainian culture and cause abroad.”

YOUROPE counts 124 festivals and associated organisations from 30 European countries among its members. The overall aim of the association is to strengthen and improve the European festival scene as a whole, and promoting arts and music while connecting different cultures.